Patriots appreciate Bill Belichick-Andy Reid coaching chess match


No coach has pushed Bill Belichick in recent years quite like Andy Reid.

No one knows that better than Belichick’s own players.

Several Patriots have expressed admiration for Reid this week on three different levels; as a head coach, play-caller and offensive mind. His work as the puppeteer of the Chiefs’ offense, the most explosive in the league, is as critical to the operation as any player string he pulls. Since arriving in Kansas City, Reid is 3-3 against Belichick, scoring two blowouts while the Pats only have 1-score victories to show for themselves.

“It’s not just the guys on the field,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said this week, acknowleding former MVP Patrick Mahomes and All-Pros Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. “I mean, Andy Reid is one of the best offensive minded coaches to coach the game in the NFL.”

Reid nearly pulled out the Patriots’ greatest victory in the teams’ growing rivalry, the 2019 AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs unloaded 24 points on Belichick’s defense in the fourth quarter, including a game-tying kick with seconds left after the Pats had seemingly put the game away. Not to mention the stunning first half, when the defense had shut Kansas City out for the first time all season heading back into the locker room.

Coming back out of the Arrowhead Stadium locker room on Sunday, the Patriots understand Reid will have new plays designed for them — and the ability to adjust again as well as anyone.

“It’s kind of like a chess game when you’re going against him because you’re going to make an adjustment, and you know he’s going to make one, and you’re going to keep going back and forth until the clock hits zero,” said Pats cornerback Jason McCourty. “Obviously, (he’s) one of the best offensive coaches in this game that we’ve ever seen. So we know, come Sunday, he’s going to have something cooked up for us that we haven’t seen, or that we’re going to have to adjust and be able to make plays on.”

Under Reid, the Chiefs have averaged 33 points per game against Belichick, who has often called his counterpart as good a play-caller and play designer as any he’s ever faced. In their last meeting, the Pats held Kansas City to 23 points, their second-lowest point total in the last calendar year. Belichick won the adjustment battle that game, limiting the Chiefs to a field goal after halftime while Mahomes threw for fewer than 300 passing yards, plus one touchdown and one interception.

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